Centre for 21st Century Issues

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By Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase

Some residents of Lagos State, who got the Covid-19 vaccine, have commended the state government for keeping to its promises of making the vaccine available to people.

They said the government has done a good thing in making it accessible to ordinary Nigerians.

Some of the respondents, who shared their first phase experience with Daily Independent, said that they are eager to come for the second dose of the vaccine as they did not feel anything serious when they got the first vaccine. They added that that gave them the confidence to get the second dose of the vaccine.

During a visit to Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Kehinde Kareem, a 70-year-old woman, commended the government for the gesture, thereby calling on other people to come get the vaccine as it is believed that it would keep one safe from contracting the virus.

Folarin Adenle, 81, said that the vaccine was part of the government’s effort in curbing the spread of the virus and making sure that residents of the state live in a Covid-19 free environment.

“I want to thank our governor for making this vaccine available to us as he promised. I came for the vaccine because I have been advised on its effectiveness and I can also testify that it is very effective.

“I want to call on other Nigerians who are still afraid of the vaccine to come out and get the vaccine, it has no harm. I have been telling people that are around me about the vaccine and the need for them to get it,” he said.

Oyeniyi Abimbola, in her view, said that it is something she has been looking forward to.

“It is something I have been looking forward to and I want to thank the state government for the gesture. We have been hearing a lot of things about the vaccine, but I am not deterred by that. Even if there is anything, I would prefer to die of the vaccine than to die of the Covid-19 complications. When you see what those who have Covid-19 go through, you will not wish it for your enemy,”

She, however, called on the government to extend the vaccine to children who are below 18 years, especially those in the boarding schools outside the state.

Another resident, Damilare Akinloye, commended the process, stressing that it is seamless and fast.

He said he would have preferred the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine than the Astrazeneca Vaccine because the J& J is just one dose while this is a two-dose vaccine.

He said Nigerians should embrace the vaccine as it is just like any regular immunisation that people take without any harm

“A lot of people have taken the vaccine here in Nigeria for instance. If it had any bad side effects, people would have known by now. So, people should come out to take it,” he advised.

Adebayo Taiwo, while also sharing his experience, said that he felt a bit weak when he got the first dose, adding that when he got home, he took paracetamol and he was okay after that.

He added that aside from that, he did not feel any other thing and that was why he came for the second dose.

Taiwo said the vaccine is effective and that he is sure now that he is immune to Covid-19 because the vaccine is effective and efficient. “Once you take the vaccine, you are sure,” he said.

The process was fast and smooth at the Ifako Ijaiye General Hospital as people came out in their numbers to get the vaccine.

Our correspondent was denied access to speak to people at the vaccination centre at the Ifako Ijaiye Primary Health care. The officer at the centre said our correspondent must get a letter from the Primary Health Care Board.

Also at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, our correspondent was denied access into the LASUCOM Glass Housing Building where the exercise was taking place. She was told the officer to give permission to monitor the exercise was not around.

However, outside the building, our correspondent was able to monitor and track those that got the vaccine for comments.

One of them is Raphael Abiodun Titilayo, who was happy getting the vaccine. She said she was happy because she is sure now that she is immuned against Covid-19 as they made her believe.

She said when she got the vaccine in the first phase, she did not feel anything whatsoever, adding that she was eagerly looking forward to the date given to her to take the second dose.

“When I got the first dose I did not feel anything, though the nurses then gave us a number, saying that if we feel anything, we should call or we should go to the emergency unit as people are there to attend to us, but it did not have any cause to call.

“Few days after I took the vaccine, I got a call from the health officers asking me about my health and if I had any complaint which I gladly told them then that I did not, that I was fine. I also later got a text message from them. I am happy,” she said.

Also at the centre, Ronke Folalu said when she took the first dose of the vaccine, it made her eat, adding that she was eating almost every hour for some days.

She said that aside from that, she did not feel any pain or stress about the vaccine.

Folalu said it is because she did not have any issue with the first dose that made her eagerly come for the second one.

She commended the government for making the vaccine available.

It was not the same for Okanlawon Opeyemi, who said she reluctantly came for the second dose. When asked why, she said it was due to her experience with the first dose that made her reluctantly come for the second dose.

“The first dose really had a bad effect on me. It reacted so badly to me and based on the negative reports we hear in the other countries and here about the vaccine, it makes me feel somehow.

“We are not even sure if we are getting the right thing here because of our health system here. If it were to be in another country, I would be sure.”

Ike Clement is another person who is not well pleased with the process at LASUTH as he said that he was at the facility a day before and he was told that there was no card and that he should come back the next day. Clement said he was there the next day and he was still told the same story but was advised to wait for the card.

“I have been here since morning. Look at the time now, I am still here and they have not attended to us because there is no card. How will a big facility like this not have cards? I am not happy at all because of the time I am wasting here. I would have used it for something productive,” he lamented.


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